Your veterinarian may help save your life. Apparently, like a hairdresser or bartender, vets often hear about a person’s personal health issues — in this case while they are treating the person’s pet. The Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness (OCSA) organization is hoping to use this as a conduit to women who may need to get medical help for themselves.
Gateway Veterinary Clinic in St. Charles, IL, recently became the first clinic to partner with OCSA and the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association to launch the Veterinary Outreach Program, according to an article by David Sharos for the Chicago Sun-Times. The outreach program will encourage vets to not only listen, but direct people to appropriate resources where they can get help.
Dr. Kurt Klepitsch, owner of the clinic, noted that many more women are becoming involved in veterinary medicine, which may encourage female clients to share more of their own health issues.
Veterinarians can also be on the lookout for domestic abuse because animal cruelty and human abuse go hand in hand, according to an article by the Greater Birmingham [AL] Humane Society. An injured pet brought to a veterinarian’s office may be a sign that someone else in the home is being abused. In a few states veterinarians are specifically mandated to report suspected child or elder abuse, according to the SPCA Los Angeles.
It turns out that veterinarians may be more than our pets’ doctors, they may be our watchdogs as well.